Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 25 March 2022

| 28 March 2022
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 25 March 2022

Dear Parents

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

Sometimes, the easy path in life is not always the best one. This is one of our mantras to the children at Dumpton, and all part of that 'Aim High' ethos. Staying in our comfort zone is often the safe option - the path of least resistance. It's comfortable. But unless children get into the habit of stepping out of their comfort zone - trying new things, being brave, being bold - they risk never realising what they are capable of achieving. At Dumpton we work hard to create a culture where taking risks and trying new things is seen as the norm. Whether it is in or outside of the classroom, whether it is playing team sport, camping, debating, public speaking, or performing, every time a child puts themself forward for something it is a chance for them to grow and develop. And crucially, their self esteem and confidence will grow with them. That's why it's been a particular pleasure to see so many children challenging themselves and trying new things this week. Whether it's Nursery children running and rolling down the grass slopes, Y2 cooking bread on a campfire or playing cricket and rounders with the Y3s, or as you'll read below, the entire Prep School being involved in a variety of performances this week. One Y4 pupil I spoke to just now after singing a solo in the House Music competition summed it up perfectly: "I was so nervous before and I wasn't sure if I could do it. But now I have done it I can't wait to do it again!"

Spring Spectacular
As anyone who attended on Tuesday will tell you, this was a special occasion. With a Junior Concert, a Y7 and Y8 Shakespeare promenade, and then a Senior Concert afterwards, we were treated to a festival of music, drama and dance. The sense of enjoyment from the children was palpable, and how joyful it is to see all the children performing. What potential for the future too! My huge thanks to Mrs Mudd and Mrs Warde who are overseeing some rather exciting transformations in this area of the school.

House Music
An overwhelming number of pupils - 120 at the last count - performed individually today to an audience, and all were awarded with certificates for their participation and points towards their Houses. We also finished the day with the most wonderfully vibrant and colourful House Singing competition, which the Pre-Prep also got to watch. Well done to Hants who won the overall cup.

U11A Hockey Success
Continuing what has been one of the finest hockey seasons Dumpton has had for some time, our U11 Boys went to the West of England In2 Championships yesterday. They didn't concede a goal and went undefeated through 6 matches, but unfortunately were pipped to the post for the title of West of England Champions by Millfield. The boys deserve huge credit for competing so well against far larger schools, and we are particularly proud of the way they conducted themselves - a real team effort throughout.

Record Canford Scholarship Success
Five Dumpton children were awarded Academic Scholarships to Canford this year - we are checking records but we think this may be a record. Jon A, Xander J, Ollie L, Ethan C and Hector C all deserve a huge congratulations for what is a very challenging and competitive process. That makes it 13 academic scholarships to Canford in the last three years - and I must thank the brilliant Dumpton Heads of Department for teaching and preparing the pupils so well.

Y2 to Y3 Taster Day
With a number of children from other schools having a taster day at Dumpton on Thursday, all of our current Y2 pupils spent the day having a bit of a 'taste' of life in the Prep School. With a science lesson in the Science Laboratory with Mrs Shaw, an Outdoor Learning lesson with Mr Cox, and also a Cricket and Rounder session which gave children a glimpse of the Prep School Games programme where we play at least an hour of sport every day of the week. They all looked like they had a terrific time.

Update - Mr Smith’s 24-Hour Dribble Challenge for Motor Neurone Disease
The rescheduled date for Mr Smith’s Dribble Challenge is Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rdApril here at Dumpton.  The Y6 parents are still very keen to support the new date.  All of the prizes which were previously donated are safely stored.  The Y6 parents will be setting up some stalls by the parents’ shelter to raise money on both Friday 1st (the day before the challenge begins) and Saturday 2nd April (the first day of the challenge itself).  If anybody would still like to donate a tombola/raffle prize or second-hand books/games, these can be dropped into the front office.  If anyone would like to help please contact Kay Ward on 07985 165313 or Jessica Mcardle on 07912 285000.  They have produced a poster which can be found attached at the bottom of this letter which gives further information.   Mr Smith has a ‘Go Fund Me’ page which may be found here.  All money raised will go to help both Mr Smith’s brother and the Irish MND Association.

Prep School Hobbies – Friday 1 April
Just a further reminder that there will be no Prep School Hobbies on the last Friday of term - pupils can be picked up at Early Pick-Up, but there will be wrap around care until 5.45pm as usual.  

LAMDA Showcases
You will have seen in the calendar that we have LAMDA Showcases scheduled next week.  You are very welcome to come along and watch your child perform their LAMDA pieces at 5.00pm. 

FoDS Easter Bunny Hunt 
Members of the FoDS team are busy preparing an Easter Bunny Hunt for the last day of term for all of the Nursery and Pre-Prep children.  If your child does not normally attend Nursery on a Friday you are very welcome to bring them along and bunny hunt with them.  The activity will start at 9.15am and will last for about 30 minutes.  Thank you to FoDS for organising this - it is sure to be great fun!

House Cross Country
This takes place on Wednesday (30th March) for all pupils in Y3-Y8. We are delighted to be able to invite parents to come and spectate what is always a fantastic event. The timings of the races will be confirmed next week. 

Ukraine Fundraising 
A big thank you to all members of the school community who took part in the raffle for the wall quilt made by Hattie Saenger.  The quilt was won by Mrs Catton and a fantastic £571 was raised in the process.

With best wishes for the weekend,
Christian Saenger